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Prodigy, Bell Atlantic In DSL Pact

Prodigy Communications Corp. and Bell Atlantic Monday teamed to provide high-speed Digital Subscriber Line access for Prodigy residence and business customers in Bell Atlantic's service area.

The pact is Prodigy's first foray into providing nationwide DSL for its users, who will be able to access the Internet via Bell Atlantic's Infospeed DSL service within the next two months, as a premium upgrade. The launch is scheduled for select areas of Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston and New York City. Prodigy expects to roll out service to additional Northeast markets as Bell Atlantic expands its DSL deployment this year.

Pricing for the DSL has not yet been finalized, but Prodigy said the service will be competitive with other high-speed offerings.

Bell Atlantic first launched its DSL service in October 1998 and expects to add areas serving more than 8 million households by the end of 1999 and 16 million by the end of the year 2000.

"Our customers are already beginning to turn from traditional media to new networks and devices as a primary source of information and entertainment," said Bill Kirkner, Prodigy's chief technology officer. "Our partnership with Bell Atlantic marks one additional step in our broader longer-term strategy of fulfilling those needs."

"This alliance with Prodigy signals Bell Atlantic's commitment to becoming a premier provider of high-quality, high-speed data services to businesses and consumers in our service area," said Bruce Gordon, group president, Bell Atlantic Enterprise Business.

"Bell Atlantic is committed to partnering with leading Internet Service Providers to deliver fast, affordable Internet access to customers throughout the Northeast."